Saturday, 20 February 2010
I mean, you think just any singer can become an opera star, really? Sorry, I don't buy it. I am talking about, obviously, the ITV program From Popstars to Opera stars, which ended recently. I was not sure about blogging about it. I watched some of it, I didn't get into it because I didn't get it. I don't see how reality TV talent shows can work with opera. You end up with a watered down, dumbed down version of the real thing, with performers using mikes to sing the most famous arias. I agree with a lot of what Rupert Christiansen says in this paper. Maybe I am elitist. I am all for making opera more popular, it desperately needs new amateurs. But I seriously doubt that people who tuned in to listen to these popstars will start checking what's being produced at the Royal Opera House or will even download some arias on youtube. The popstars will certainly not star performing operas onstage. So, in the end, I think the program will be useless for the art.
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There are very few 'pop stars', or singers who can cross over into acting. And there are almost as few singers who can cross over from one genre to another successfully - say from Jazz to Country or Blues, (unless you are possibly Renee Fleming).
I got interested in opera by hearing portions on the radio - then I started listening to the whole opera - what a difference hearing the flow of the music!
We share an adoration of a favourite singer in Natalie Dessay - I admire her most for her ability to sing and act at the same time which shows an immense versatility.
Seeing the Live at the Met Operas at the cinema will (and indeed has) do more for increasing an appreciative audience.
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